Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM


CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM

Dear PTC CEO and programers.

I wrote this to the PTC, but no response.

Forward message>

I am using PROE WF5 PRO/nc as cad/cam system
CAD is OK I like it.
BUT!!! CAM-PRO/NC is not a CAM. When you make something new it is 80% buttons an menus, but engine is the same all the time.You are making olny small changes. Your "CAM" can not compute toolpaths on backround (multitasking)It is not using multiple core technology, I am siting on my chair an waiting for hours. (I have XEON64bit 8GB RAM HP Z400) So wake up PTC. You have a lot of bugs in your "CAM" I am not your employe tester. Bugs are in re-rough, Rough, Finishing, Profile, local mill and surface steps. There are bugs and engine is not good too.
I am using EDGECAM too. If you will sleep, I will throw proe away.(to the recycle bin)

Sorry for my english. It is bad, but it is better then then your "CAM"
You have two options engine for PRO/NC
2.integrate pro/toolmaker in pro/nc



CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM

Bukaj, tks for your feedback. We are doing a massive revamp in the MFG
UI, is true. That was a main concern for many customers in the past,
that's why we are doing the UI modernization projects. In other hand, in
the very next release you will see some Pro/Toolmaker functionality
inside Creo NC... and more to follow, we are aiming to integrate most of
the Pro/TM technology into Creo NC.


Jose Coronado

Creo NC Product Manager

CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM


Yes, we all know the cons of Pro/NC when it comes to usability. However, a few systems in the market can deliver the same capabilities when it comes to customization and power. Right now I'm training people here to pass custom CL commands to the post-processor using data defined within a note in the 3D model of the tool. Once is done, the programmer will never have to worry again about inserting special CL commands in the Customize window in order to trigger a particular event in the post that is associated with that tool, specifically. We can also pre-define machining parameters in the tool model and every time you pick that tool to create a new sequence, parameters like TOOL_ORIENTATION, OUTPUT_POINT, SPINDLE_DIR, COOLANT_PRESSURE or whatever I want are populated automatically in the NC-sequence... this is the so called UDP parameters...

I can also create relations within families of tools to compute the RPM and feedrate based on the # of teeth of the CUTTER_DIAM of each instance, and they also populated automatically for me... if I change one instance of the tool for another, then the feeds&speeds are also updated automatically because you can use relations on you site files...

So, why I'm saying all this: it is because Pro/NC delivers a lot of power, and I don't know any system that can do what I stated above: Nor NX or CATIA or anything else. And trust me, you can make miracles with these things... yes, I could write a list with all crap... but I prefer to focus on what get the job done... Here goes another: Pro/NC MUDFs are the best thing for me, although they need more improvements, I could not reach all their potential yet... and probably I won't, in this life...

The big issue with Pro/NC is its usability, and UI. The tool manager sucks more than anything else, but as one of the customers José mentioned below, I can guarantee you that PTC is listening and they are working to fix their mess. We won't see everything fixed in the the first release of Creo, but we will see it, I'm sure. Otherwise, Pro/NC will be extinct in a few years. PTC knows that and now they have the right time and the right people to make it happen.

Just, to give you an idea about how things are changing, a few years ago you would never get, in this place, a reply from the NC Solutions product manager with a post like that...

Many of the issues people have with Pro/NC are caused by the cumbersome and outdated documentation, non-intuitive workflow and lack of real life examples in PTC training material and PTCU. They don't have real life NC programmers working for them. So, I'd like to suggest you to visit this place more often, drop your questions (Politely please ;->) and perhaps you can learn some tips here that will make your life easier... Yes, many of us understand your pain, but Pro/NC deserves a last chance I think... We also have HPZ800 (8 cores) and Pro/NC cannot use them very well... but keep in mind that Pro/NC has the ability to use multi-core and remote computing for more than 10 years, something that is only avaliable in the last 3/4 years... I think Pro/NC was really ahead of many systems a decade ago... but PTC slowed down at some point and they lost the track... but sit tight because they will come back... well, at least I believe so... ;->

Welcome to the board... it will be a pleasure to serve you...

Best regards,



CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM

Dan, how exactly did you learn to apply the advanced features to Pro N/C?

Who is your VAR? , or who did you get training from and how much did it cost?

How long did it take to implement?

Christopher F. Gosnell

FPD Company

124 Hidden Valley Road

McMurray, PA 15317



CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM


I can see where someone would be negative about Pro/Mfg. Lack of understanding
the system. It is always difficult to go from one system to the other,
especially when you are used to one for so many years. Most of them do the same
thing. It is at times different terminology and Icons/buttons are different. I
do have to say that out of the box it is not as easy to use. I also see that if
ProE or Pro/Nc is not properly setup it is a not easy to use.

It all comes down to implementation. I think the power is right there!! I have
been using Pro/Mfg since Rev 9 and I have seen big improvements in the module. I
have been using other cam packages before (Mastercam, Surfcam).

We have set up a lot of templates and or start parts. Same with Tooling. We put
every parameter that is ask for into the tooling model. We have also set up
pro-program to automate things. A lot of things are relations driven.

Example: You need to tap a hole. You know a few things, that you need a spot,
drill, and tap and you know the size. A couple of mouse clicks or a map-key and
the only thing you need to do is pick the drill group and coordinate system you
are done.

I do have to say a lot of it also depends on how good the model is!!

Not to mention when you create setup/books. Templates!!

Tony Jager

655 Cedar Street
San Carlos, CA 94070

CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM

I have used Pro/NC for 15 years in the manufacture of mould tools, I have
also worked as an AE for a VAR gaining extensive knowledge from PTC. I have
to admit that Pro/NC has had very little changes in its core over that time
period, in comparison to other products in the market. Yes the UI is being
updated but I have to agree in part with what Dan is saying.

Things like gouge avoidance, the need for gouge checking at all, the
calculation time are issues carried forward from the core engine. We also
run Delcam in the shop which seems billet proof when it comes to gouge
avoidance, it does lack Pro/NC’s ability to control what you are machining
and how you machine it and it often will roll sharp corners or leave a cusp
on the corner.

Yes Pro/NC has an awesome amount of power, outputs a constant high quality
tool path and has the ability to machine in a large variety of ways but it
is still the same engine.


CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM

Opps forgot to mention.

Dan Pro/NC can background process, send the calculation to another computer
or server and, in gouge checking, can utilise multiple cores and processors.

CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM


We also do crazy stuff with templates here and I can tell you that the
level of automation of the clamping elements we have is hard the be
obtained in other systems... I can change the steadyrestmodel of a MillTurn machine
andits clamping diameter and location with 5 clicks... but all this
level took me half year to be created...

So, Pro/NC is all about customization, yes... but not every company can
afford to have the right people and time to deploy a system like that,
specially during a financial crisis in MFG everywhere... the perfect
deal with Pro/NC will be the day a user can buy it and start to get good
toolpaths just reading the documentation, like in Mastercam, Solidcam or
mid-end systems... if PTC cannot make it easy to use, it is not worth
either... day after day, the new generation of machinists and engineers
are becoming less tolerant to cumbersome software...

But as you said, many people blame Pro/NC before realizing they have bad
designing practices (model not good), lack of discipline to use the
software (everyday they want to do exactly the same in a different way
and get frustrated when it does not work...) and do not follow
check-lists for both MFG and CAD tasks... so the designer leaves lots of
geometry checks in the model and create models in relative accuracy,
then the programmer get tons of unexpected exits and material removal
failures... and he blames Pro/NC solely... when in fact there are bad
modeling practices...

Today I heard a colleague here saying one thing that fits
perfectly to the current MFG package PTC markets: "I find the software
heavy on theory and short on practice. It seems like the pieces are
there, but the 'glue' is missing." - He is 1000% right. But I still
believing PTC needs a new chance, and Creo is this chance.

Time will say... but I believe that if they work hard and do not attempt
to fool us with a few new icons that still hidding UNIX menus, they will


CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM


I too have been using proNC since version 11 and agree with all that has been
written within these emails. I just would like to add that PTC provides tips and
techniques forProNC. One such technique applies to automation.Here isthe link
to thistechnique.

RE: CAD is OK, but CAM is not a CAM

>>>but keep in mind that Pro/NC has the ability to use multi-core and remote computing for more than 10 years, something that is only avaliable in the last3/4 years.

Yes, it is true, but you must have more than one licence! I have only one licence. So I can not start another proe on behind. Job manager does not work when you have only one licence.

(Am I right?)